Negative Story Worlds Cover Image

Негативни светови приче
Negative Story Worlds

Author(s): Snežana Milosavljević-Milić
Subject(s): Studies of Literature, Theory of Literature
Published by: Институт за књижевност и уметност
Keywords: negation;virtual narrative;counterfactual world;narrative potential;inexhaustible

Summary/Abstract: Negations are one of the key syntactic devices for the virtualization of the story world. Contemporary literary theories display two basic approaches to negations: within the framework of postmodern poetics and poststructuralist orientations, questioning the “negative tropology” of literary texts and the“textual power of the negative resistances inherent in any form of textuality”, and within cognitive narratology. The semantic potential of negative statements was discussed in cognitive linguistics as well in cognitive poetics, i.e. the theory of text worlds whose representatives view negative epistemic sub-worlds as cognitive domains introducing alternatives and counter facts. By using the example of three short stories from different periods of Serbian literature as case studies, we distinguish three possibilities of creating virtual worlds by means of negation: 1) when the negated is excluded from the actual text world, but exists implicitly in the referent (Bora Stanković’s short story "Mojim znancima"); 2) when the negated is incarnated within an apophatic discourse (Ivo Andrić’s short story "Jelena, žena koje nema"); 3) when it denies what was at first part of the actual story world (Milorad Pavić’s short story, "Sea-Coloured Blazer"). In all three examples, absent, negated or non-existing worlds are accessible in various degrees, both via the framework of general knowledge and via particular textual frameworks and also by means of conceptual integrations formed in the recipient’s mental space. By placing the accent on the emotional, ethical or cognitive aspect of that what is lost for the hero, what has never been found or never even existed, the author affirms a strong rhetorical function of the virtual narrative derived from negations. In all three stories, negations play an important part on the level of hermeneutic rhythm or tension building and deferral of resolution. we conclude that the poststructuralist interest in the simultaneity of the present and the absent in the word meets the cognitive-narratological approach to negations as the paradigm of the narrative potential itself.

  • Issue Year: 47/2015
  • Issue No: 155
  • Page Range: 57-72
  • Page Count: 16
  • Language: Serbian